October 1, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sen. John Cornyn, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and HFSC CEO and president Dr.
Peter Stout will hold a roundtable discussion with sexual assault survivors and other
stakeholders on the need for the U.S. House of Representatives to quickly reauthorize
the Debbie Smith Act after crucial rape kit testing grant dollars ran out September 30.
The Debbie Smith Act, authored by Sen. John Cornyn, has been reauthorized by the U.S.
Senate. The act is the key grant funding source for crime laboratories nationwide to do
DNA testing on sexual assault kits and eliminate longstanding backlogs. The U.S.
House of Representatives has not reauthorized the act this year, even though it
previously sailed through both branches with bipartisan support.
Sen. Cornyn, Mayor Turner, Dr. Stout, Dr. Stacey Mitchell, HFSC’s board chair, and
other HFSC executives will be available to answer questions following the discussion.
Media will also be invited to join Sen. Cornyn and Mayor Turner as they get a sneak
peek of HFSC’s new laboratory facility ahead of an October 22 grand opening.
WHEN: 10:50 a.m. to noon, October 3, 2019
10:50 a.m.: Roundtable
11:30 a.m.: Tour
11:40 a.m.: News conference
WHERE: 500 Jefferson St., 18th floor
Houston, Texas 77002
Paid parking is available at 500 Jefferson
HFSC is a local government corporation that provides forensic services to the City of
Houston and other local agencies. HFSC is overseen by a Board of Directors appointed
by the Mayor of Houston and confirmed by the Houston City Council. Its management
structure is designed to be responsive to a 2009 recommendation by the National
Academy of Sciences that called for crime laboratories to be independent of law
enforcement and prosecutorial branches of government.
HFSC operates in seven forensic disciplines.
CONTACT INFORMATION:
Ramit Plushnick-Masti
Director of Communications/PIO
media@houstonforensicscience.org
www.houstonforensicscience.org
713-703-4898 (cell)
Follow us on Facebook http://on.fb.me/1x1zap2
Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/HoustonForensic